CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Reasonable Accommodations: Faculty Guide, Georgia Southern University: Overview

OVERVIEW

Specific suggestions for teaching students with disabilities will be offered
in the sections devoted to each disability. Here are some general
considerations to keep in mind.

STUDENT-FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

Students with disabilities are responsible for informing the University of
their disabilities. Once the Disability Counselor and student have agreed on
appropriate accommodations, the faculty member is legally responsible for
making those accommodations - specific to that class. Dialogue between the
student and instructor is essential early in the term, and follow-up
meetings are recommended.  Once the student has disclosed his or her
disability to the faculty member, the faculty member will ease the student's
adjustment by initiating discussion about the needs as they relate to the
course.

You will find that the student is your own best resource - their own
suggestions, based on experience with the disability and with school work,
are invaluable in accommodating disabilities in college.

ATTENDANCE AND PROMPTNESS

Students using a wheelchair or other assisting devices may encounter
obstacles or bar riers in getting to class on time. Others may have periodic
or irregular difficulties, either from their disability or from medication.
Flexibility in applying attendance and promptness rules to such students
would be helpful.

CLASSROOM TIPS

Plan your syllabus with an awareness of accommodations that may be needed
for both in-class activities and outside assignments.

Make book lists and syllabi available prior to beginning of the term.

Make appropriate seating arrangements.

Speak only when directly facing the class, remember that beards and
mustaches that cover the mouth often interfere with a student's ability to
speech read.

Legibly write key lecture points and assignments on the chalkboard or an
overhead projector.

ALTERNATIVES TO TAKING NOTES

Students who cannot take notes or have difficulty taking notes adequately
may tape-record lectures or bring a notetaker to class.  Faculty may need to
make an outline of lecture materials available to students or assist them in
borrowing classmates' notes.

If taping a class is the reasonable accommodation, then the professor must
give permission to the student to tape the the beginning off the term class.

TESTING AND EVALUATION

Depending on the disability, the student may require adaptations, e.g. Oral
administration of examinations and tests, use of readers andSor scribes,
time extension for tests and exams, modification of test formats. *

* Unless the format itself is essential in testing the student's
comprehension of course material.

It is important for faculty to consider when a student may have missed or
misunderstood material as a consequence of the disability.  A student may
have missed material because the material was not interpreted literally or
visual aids were not effectively described.  If gaps in knowledge occur,
test answers will demonstrate incomplete knowledge. for out-ofclass
assignments, the extension of deadlines may be justified. The objective of
such considerations should always be to accommodate the student's learning
differences, while maintaixiing the integrity of the course.

Instructors should apply the same standards to students with disabilities
that they apply to other students in evaluating their work and assigning
grades. Persons with disabilities want their grades to be valued the same as
the grades of other students.

CONFIDENTIALITY

In order to provide services to disabled students, Georgia Southern
University asks for voluntary self-identification from students with a
disability. This information is kept confidential and is used for the
purposes of aiding students in achieving their fullest potential while at
the University.

FUNCTIONAL PROBLEMS

In addition to the adjustments that will be discussed in detail for each
category of disability, understanding is required to work with the more
subtle and sometimes unexpected manifestations of a disability. Chronic
weakness and fatigue characterize some disabilities and some medical
conditions. Drowsiness, fatigue, andSor impairments of memory or speech may
result from prescribed medications. Such difficulties and interferences with
the student's ability to learn should be distinguished from apathetic
behavior which it may resemble.